First Responder
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
in Costa Mesa

With the right approach to dual diagnosis treatment in Costa Mesa, first responders can recover successfully and regain control of their lives.

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First Responders are At-Risk

First responders are highly vulnerable to developing several mental health conditions. These professionals face stressful and traumatic events almost every day without a chance to recover in between.

The stigma surrounding mental health issues keeps first responders from getting professional assistance. This causes conditions to progress. One of the most common consequences of untreated mental health problems is substance abuse. A combination of a mental illness and a substance use disorder is called a dual diagnosis. The key to treating these two conditions is addressing both of them simultaneously.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

A person with a dual diagnosis has a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Other names for this issue are co-occurring disorders and comorbidities. Dual diagnosis isn't a disorder but a combination of two conditions. A dual diagnosis requires the person to have mental and behavioral health issues.

Mental illness and substance abuse problems often go hand in hand. Around 50% of adults who have a mental illness also develop a substance abuse issue and vice versa. Meanwhile, 37% of people who abuse alcohol and 53% of those who use illicit drugs have a co-occurring mental health problem.

Dual diagnosis treatment combines addiction treatment with evidence-based therapy for mental health. First responders can receive treatment for all of their mental and behavioral health concerns at Command Post Wellness.

Symptoms of Dual Diagnosis

First responders who have a dual diagnosis often try to cope with the problem without assistance. Unfortunately, this condition rarely goes away on its own. While some mental health issues can get better from time to time, they still need to be addressed. Substance use disorders require professional detox and rehabilitation.

A person with a dual diagnosis experiences the symptoms of both substance abuse and mental health problems. The common signs include:

Social withdrawal (the person stops talking to friends, family, loved ones, and anyone else who can provide support)
Problems at work (for first responders, this is a serious issue since dual diagnosis can affect their reaction time and communication skills)
Changes in eating habits
Angry and violent behavior
Sleep problems (insomnia or excessive sleep)
Problems with concentration
Anxiety, severe mood swings
A feeling of hopelessness and despair
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Conditions That Qualify as Dual Diagnosis

Common mental health conditions that occur together with substance abuse include:

Post-traumatic stress injury
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
Bipolar disorder

To make a dual diagnosis, a mental health specialist would need to arrange a medical assessment and a psychiatric evaluation. The difficulty with diagnosing co occurring conditions usually lies in the overlapping of symptoms and the unwillingness of the patient to get treatment.

Out of 7.7 million adults who live with dual diagnosis, over 50% never seek treatment for their problems. For first responders, who develop mental health conditions more often than the general population, asking for medical assistance is even harder.

These emergency response specialists often feel pressured to live up to the image of the nation's hero. That's why they can have a hard time admitting a mental health or substance abuse issue.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Once our mental health specialists make a diagnosis, we design a comprehensive course of treatment. Treating two conditions together is key to successful recovery.
The main elements of dual diagnosis treatment for first responders include:

Some patients require medication to ease symptoms of substance withdrawal and to control their mental health condition. In most cases, medication is a temporary measure.
Group therapy
During group therapy, first responders share their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with colleagues who have similar conditions. A qualified therapist controls the interaction and guides participants to achieve the desired treatment results. Peer support groups help build a sense of community and togetherness.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
This type of mental health treatment focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The therapist teaches a patient how to change their approach to the negativity that causes their symptoms.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
While applicable for treating different types of mental health illnesses, this type of CBT is especially useful for first responders with a post-traumatic stress injury. It helps patients learn how to handle traumatic memories and manage intense emotions.

Each case of dual diagnosis is different. A clinical team decides on the best course of treatment and implements it in an inpatient or outpatient setting. For first responders, residential dual diagnosis treatment can be highly beneficial since it allows them to take time off work and focus on their health.

If a first responder doesn't have an opportunity to go to a residential facility, they can take advantage of intensive outpatient treatment that includes several types of therapy sessions.


Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment for First Responders

Comprehensive treatment is the only effective approach to battling co-occurring conditions. The benefits of seeking professional assistance for first responders are:

Ability to focus on the job
Learning how to cope with difficult situations
Ability to control emotions better
Improving physical health
Preventing physical and mental health risks
Higher confidence and self-esteem
While recovering from mental health illness and substance use disorders, first responders obtain valuable coping skills. These skills can help them become more resilient to traumatic events at work.

Find Healing Opportunities in Costa Mesa

By addressing mental health illness and substance use disorders simultaneously, patients regain control over their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. First responders who are ready to seek professional assistance have many options.

At Command Post Wellness, we focus solely on first responders' treatment. We offer a variety of treatment programs to support first responders in their mental and behavioral health. Our residential and outpatient programs are specifically designed with the needs of these professionals in mind.

First Responders

Our Modern-Day Heroes

First responders and public safety employees are our modern-day heroes, which can come at a significant psychological price. The first responder regularly experiences on-the-job trauma in which risking their lives daily is just part of the job.

We have a team which assists first responders on a path to healing through innovative therapeutic modalities. Command Post Wellness prioritizes the mental health of our first responders and public safety employees.

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To learn more about if Command Post Wellness is right for you, 
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